1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Olive Oil Varieties

Olive Varieties Commonly Pressed for Olive Oil

By

Olive Oil With Olives

Olive Oil

Photo © Brian Hagiwara, used with permission from Getty Images

Some California growers are pressing single variety oils that display the unique flavor profiles of the olive varieties. All olives darken as they ripen and each variety has an optimal ripeness at which it is harvested for oil – some are still green when picked for pressing, others are best when allowed to ripen fully. Here are ten olives commonly grown for oil.

Arbequina

Arbequina olives are tiny, round and originally hail from the region of Catalonia in Spain. They are popular with California growers for the distinctive almond-like flavor of the fresh and fruity oil they produce.

Barnea

Barnea olives were developed in Israel. They are extremely hardy and produce a remarkably smooth oil with little bitterness or pungency.

Chemlali

Chemlali olives make a sweet and smooth oil with a bit of almond flavor, like Arbequinas. They are common is Tunisian and Moroccan olive oils.

Frantoio

Frantoio olives are widely used in Tuscan olive oils. Its oil is peppery and bitter and pungent and a bit grassy.

Koroneiki

Koroneiki olives make a remarkably fruity olive oil, common throughout Greece.

Leccino

Leccino olives are widely used in Italian olive oils. Their oil is fruity, sweet, and lightly pungent.

Moraiolo

Moraiolo olives yield a lightly bitter and pungent olive oil, and are commonly used in Umbrian olive oils.

Picholine

Unlike most olives grown for their oil, picholine olives are popular eating olives, too. Picholine olive oil is smooth and mild - a great olive oil for people who don't like too much "olive" flavor in their olive oil and for using in salad dressings for delicate spring salads.

Picual

Picual olives are from the Andalusia region in southern Spain. Picual olive oil is remarkably peppery with a strong olive flavor that stands up to cooking.

Taggiasca

Taggiasca olives make a fruity olive oil with very little of the bitterness found in so many olive oils.

Want to know more about olive oil? Check out All About Olive Oil.

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Local Foods
  4. Artisan Foods
  5. Estate Olive Oils
  6. Olive Oil Varieties - Guide to Olive Oil Varieties

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.